A functioning brake pedal should feel firm under your foot when you press it. The term mushy or spongy brakes indicates the condition when the brake pedal loses that firmness and the brakes don’t feel stable.
Such a brake problem can occur due to various reasons such as air in the line, holes in the brake lines, worn calipers, or bad wheel cylinders. If the brakes feel spongy, you should immediately have the car’s braking system diagnosed and take necessary actions because it creates a potentially unsafe condition when you are driving.
Spongy Brakes: Causes and Solutions
There could be many reasons for mushy brakes. Learn what the causes that create such a problem and how to solve them:
The Brake Fluid Level
If the level of the brake fluid is low or drained up, it can make the brakes spongy. Open your car’s hood and remove the cap from the brake’s master cylinder. Now, check the fluid level. If the level is low, refill and recheck brakes.
Air in the Brake Line
It’s the most common spongy brakes cause. The brake lines of the car should have only the brake fluid. However, if air gets into the lines, it hampers the flow of the liquid, resulting in mushy brakes. Bleeding the brakes is the only solution to get rid of that air.
Leak in the Brake Lines
Rust can corrode a brake like and create holes causing the internal fluid to leak out of the line. If such a thing happens, the fluid level will get lower, resulting in a loss of the hydraulic pressure. If your brakes feel soft, check the lines and replace them as soon as possible if you find any leak.
Worn Brake Pads
Remove the front and rear wheels to inspect if there’s excessive wear on the brake pads. You have to replace them if they look extremely worn out.
Corroded Disc Brake Calipers
Just like the brake lines, the disc brake calipers can also collect rust and get corroded. The brake fluid can leak through the damaged spots, causing the loss of hydraulic pressure. If your brakes are feeling soft lately, you should check the calipers.
Bad Wheel Cylinders
Any problem in the wheel cylinder should be given utmost importance because it may require you to change some brake components.
A bad wheel cylinder is another cause of spongy brakes. Rust can corrode it and create holes for brake fluid to come out. As you have already known, the loss of brake fluid results in the loss of hydraulic pressure, which in turn, causes the soft brake problem.
Any problem with the brakes can cause minor to major accidents on the road. So, if you feel your brakes are not as firm as they should be, check the brake system immediately to find out the source of the problem.